Qantas brings Boeing 717s onto more Brisbane flights

By Chris Chamberlin, August 10 2017
Qantas brings Boeing 717s onto more Brisbane flights

Qantas will fly its regional QantasLink Boeing 717 jets between Brisbane and both Adelaide and Cairns from November, in place of larger Boeing 737-800s.

The plan adds to new weekend Boeing 717 flights from the Queensland capital to Sydney and Melbourne which began this month, following the use of these planes on regular Brisbane-Canberra flights.

Qantas says the shake-up puts “the right aircraft on the right routes” in line with passenger demand, and will free up a Boeing 737 for use on higher-demand routes such as Sydney-Melbourne and Perth-Adelaide.

The Boeing 717 earmarked for these Brisbane flights will offer both business class and economy, with the airline reconfiguring two of its remaining economy-only jets – currently seen flying within Western Australia – with business class (below) and new economy seats, for use on the eastern seaboard.

With the first reconfigured plane flying from November, the second is expected to take wing in January 2018, which the airline will use to support its existing Boeing 717 flight schedule while heavy maintenance is undertaken on other jets.

Qantas will offer business class on 12 of its 20 Boeing 717s once these reconfiguration works are complete, and will increase the use of economy-only Fokker 100 aircraft on regional, resources-related Western Australian routes where the airline now sees lower demand.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 251

Not good, the 717 have a high failure rate with many cancelled services, I try to avoid them when I can on the TSV-BNE service as they are very unreliable.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 320

I've flown on the 717 in and out of Hobart many times. I've never been delayed and they're a great aircraft to fly on. Gotta love the steepest of steep takeoffs! 

13 May 2016

Total posts 38

So true Ryan   Great plane always on time flying in and out of Hobart.  Great seats too.

Yes, but climb performance at altitude is nothing to write home about. Especially in warmer parts of Australia (which is most of the country north of Tasmania).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2011

Total posts 40

I always try to fly on the 717. I find it a considerably more comfortable plane to fly on. And never had an issue with delays or cancelations.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 51

So I guess the long term question is....what will they repalce the 717 with? CS100? CS300? An E-Jet....these 717's and F100's for that matter, are getting on a little bit. It will be interesting to see what they choose.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 752

Unless the oil price shoots up again (unlikely) these 717s, serviced and checked appropriately - are good for many years to come. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Oct 2016

Total posts 3

Hopefully they will choose one of the ERJ variants. 

09 Aug 2017

Total posts 8

A shoddily constructed Brazilian plane? No thank you, sir.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 122

It's a long time off, long enough that there could be new planes on the market, but I'd hope to keep a rear-engined plane, so some form of CRJ would be my ideal choice.


I still think Boeing made a poor decision to discontinue the 717 though, as there's nothing as good in its class, and it has extraordinarily high customer satisfaction ratings with both passengers and the airlines themselves. No doubt Qantas would have ordered more, among other operators.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 697

This depends on the build date but if early 2000s the another 4-5 years of life left at least.

15 Mar 2017

Total posts 13

How does this not prove that Virgin getting rid of its Embraer fleet was a bad idea

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 693

The E190s were nice but having an additional type in your fleet is an expensive option and the trip costs for the E190 were not that much less than the 737s.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 320

Because a E190 is not a Boeing 717...

09 Aug 2017

Total posts 8

Well, a Boeing 717 is not really a Boeing 717, either, is it?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 122

Love the Qantas 717 and I'm glad it's now being deployed with business class on routes I'm actually likely to fly on! Bring it back to ROK and I'll have no reason to fly VA!

bsb
bsb

21 Jul 2011

Total posts 72

My absolute favourite aircraft in the QF fleet and I love flying it and go out of my way to fly on it. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 106

I dont mind them, only thing that annoys me is the air is very sensitive to the engine movements so only landing its constantly going fast then slow

It's not a 'real' business class. 

I notice someone does not agree. I don't get out a tape and measure seat sizes and pitch but seatguru.com has both the 717 and 737 at 37in pitch, but 22in wide for the 737 and only 20in wide for the 717. That is noticeable when you take your seat as it feels narrower - also the 717 is a noticeably narrower cabin but still has 2+2 in J. Add to that there is no setback video so you have to prop a pad in a frame and have your earphone cord hanging in the air. There is no divider between J and Y cabins. The cabin staff sometimes don't seem to be trained up to J standards, and sometimes the catering/drinks selection is more limited than on the 737. So the 717 is already cheapening a not particularly world-beating B737 domestic and regional J class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 320

It was pretty good when I tried it. Would you care to let us know what "real" business class should be on a domestic narrow-body?

Certainly, happy to oblige, Ryan. It's easy. JetBlue Mint. I understand from the ausbt site that VA is considering the same or a similar product for narrowbodies.

The rationale does not make sense. Sure, SYD-MEL is the busiest route in Australia, but PER-ADL? The latter comes in at no.21, according to BITRE data, way behind the routes losing B737s:

BNE-ADL - 18th
BNE-CNS - 11th
BNE-SYD - 2nd
BNE-MEL - 3rd

Perhaps they don't have the range to do ADL-PER?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jun 2014

Total posts 3

Anyone know if or when the new 717 BNE-CNS schedule has been applied to Qantas booking systems (still showing a lot of 737s showing available in Nov/Dec)?


Current BNE-CNS 737 flights on Tues/Wed/Thurs mornings are already about 100% capacity due to FIFO workers travelling to new mine in FNQ meeting their Qantas charter in Cairns...going to be very tight/expensive if 717s takeover these particular flights.

The qantas 717 fleet is very old and unreliable so often I have been let down especially in Hobart & Alice Springs if this fleet is put on major routes I will look elsewhere for a proper business class with first class service, presently service is very basic with staff spending more time complaining to each other than serving customers.

Yes, remember that these are essentially DC9s with the associated late 1950s-early 1960s basic design.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 May 2013

Total posts 21

I find the 717 has 1" more seat width than the 737, but more importantly, 50% less middle seats.

In J? Certainly better in Y - 18 vs 17.2, but worse in J - 20 vs 22. Agree about the middle seats in Y, but J is still 2+2 with narrower seats in a narrower cabin.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 1

I HATE the 717s, at least 20% of my flights are delayed and I much higher cancellation rate, in my experience. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Oct 2013

Total posts 5

Did business on Mel -HBT , found it to be fine and just as good as 737, and have also done econmomy and found it great as well

Seems to be very popular with Tasmanians, probably because it's a bit roomier and faster than a turboprop (and perhaps makes Tasmanians feel less relegated to the backwaters?). But the short hop to MEL is a puddlejump, so I can understand people being happy with that. On longer routes a proper J class is needed. The QF 717 product simply does not cut it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 1

Never been on the B717, but have to be better than the 737. They are the worst plane ever in Economy!!

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 140

The 717 is far superior to the 737 for the simple reason of its configuration. There was nothing wrong with the DC-9 either.


It was a bit strange - and highly inaccurate - seeing a suggestion that Perth-Adelaide had higher demand than BNE-SYD or BNE-MEL.



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